Return to the search form Return to your search results

Writing Greece

Fast Facts

Session Offered:







2.75 GPA
Sophomore standing or higher

Meet current entry requirements in Greece

Application Deadline:

Sept 14, 2023

Academic Program


Writing Greece: The Ancient World and Genre Fiction

In this 3 s.h. course abroad, students will have an opportunity to find new inspiration for their own writing through travel in Greece.


'Writing Greece' engages the rich legacy of the ancient world to foster creativity and inspire original fiction in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. Students will visit unforgettable ancient sites such as the Parthenon in Athens, the Sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia, the Temple of Apollo in Delphi and the Lion Gate in Mycenae. A highlight will be a day travelling by ferry to Hydra, an idyllic island without cars and filled with beautiful stone mansions and quaint pebble beaches.

This course emphasizes both myth and history, with tales of gods and goddesses and narratives of kings and philosophers receiving equal weight. We will study the fascinating deities Athena and Poseidon, learn about the Athenian statesman Pericles, and familiarize ourselves with the poetry of Sappho. Reading and writing assignments will be short and manageable, with daily conference appointments available for all students. Creative writing may take the form of genre fiction (e.g., fantasy, sci-fi, YA) or more traditional literary fiction.

This class includes free periods during some afternoons and evenings when students can explore independently Athens and Nafplio. Contemporary Greek cities are safe, fascinating, and affordable; in the past, program participants have had a wonderful time finding out-of-the-way markets and discovering charming neighborhoods. Whether studying a statue of Artemis, eating in a seaside taverna, or revising a story in the shadow of the Parthenon, this course promises to both edify and entertain.   

Cultural Activities


Students will engage in a variety of activities focused on ancient and modern cultural life. Planned activities include:

  • A walking tour and welcome dinner on arrival in Athens

  • Guided tours of the world-renowned Acropolis and New Acropolis Museum, the National Archaeological Museum, and the ancient Agora

  • Visits to the ancient sites of Mycenae, Nafplion, Olympia, Delphi & Chaeronea

  • A daytrip to Cape Sounion and the ancient ruins of the Temple of Poseidon

  • A daytrip to the island of Hydra or Aegina

  • A farewell dinner in Athens

Faculty Director

Professor Stephen Voyce

Stephen joined the English Department at the University of Iowa in 2011, where he also holds appointments in the Digital Studio for the Public Arts & Humanities and the Center for the Book. He is the author of Poetic Community: Avant-Garde Activism and Cold War Culture (University of Toronto Press, 2013), the editor of a book of variations: love – zygal – art facts (Coach House Books, 2013), and the Director of the Fluxus Digital Collection. His work also appears in journals such as Jacket2 Magazine, Modernism/modernity, Criticism: A Quarterly Journal for Literature and the Arts, Postmodern Culture, and Open Letter.

Voyce’s primary teaching and research interests include twentieth-century poetry, media studies, Marxist criticism and theory, and critical digital studies.

Program Dates

This course will be offered next during Winter Session 2023-24.
Tentative travel dates are December 26, 2023 – January 7, 2024

For More Information

Information Sessions

Friday, September 1 pm at 12:30 in the Gerber Lounge

For more details about this program please contact Winter 2023 Faculty Director Stephen Voyce or Program Coordinator Lindsay Budde.


View over Athens

The capitol and largest city in Greece, Athens is one of the world's oldest cities with a recorded history spanning 3,400 years. The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon.

The Parthenon is the greatest and finest sanctuary of Ancient Athens. Dedicated to its patron, the goddess Athena, it still dominates the center of the modern city from the rocky crag known as the Acropolis.


The history of Greece is one of the longest of any country, having been continuously inhabited since 270,000 BC.

Considered the cradle of Western civilization, Greece is the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western literature, historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, and Western drama, including both tragedy and comedy.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements

Students will share hotel rooms with private bathrooms (double occupancy) with another program participant.


If you do not have a passport, apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins.

The UI Passport Office processes new U.S. passport applications and child/minor renewal applications.

US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website. Most adult renewals must be done by mail.

Important notice:
Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If yours is not, you must renew your passport.

Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

Non-US Citizens

Students who are not US citizens should contact their consulate for more information if they need to get a new passport or renew their passport.

Travel Arrangements

Students will receive instructions for booking flights after the Confirmation Deadline. A suggested group flight will be shared with the group and students will make their own arrangements.

Those who do not have extensive travel experience are encouraged to book the suggested group flight.

Local Transportation

Transportation for all course activities is provided, including a group airport pickup and drop-off at the beginning and end of the course.

COVID-19 Protocols

For courses traveling abroad, participating students and faculty will be required to follow host country laws and procedures regarding COVID-19. Requirements of each host country are subject to change with little notice. Requirements may include COVID-19 testing, proof of vaccination, or quarantine/isolation to enter the country or to access certain facilitates and services.


Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • GPA 2.75

  • Sophomore standing or above - open to undergraduates in all majors

  • Good academic and disciplinary standing: Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa, or at another US college or university where the applicant is enrolled in a degree program. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who are not in good standing at any point overlapping with the program dates will have their acceptance revoked, and will be responsible for the associated late withdrawal fees.

  • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity: Students must meet entry requirements for the countries and venues visited by the program. Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel and demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.

  • Note: Degree seeking students at institutions other than the University of Iowa may submit an application and be considered on a space available basis. Please note that preference will be given to University of Iowa students.


The course fee for the 2023-2024 program will be $4,570

Included in the billed program cost:

  • Application fee ($50)
  • Academic instruction and guided tours in Greece
  • 3 semester hours of UI credit
  • Accommodation
  • Ground transport from and to Athens airport
  • Transportation for all course activities
  • Welcome + Farewell dinners
  • Breakfasts at accommodation
  • 24/7 staff support
  • CISI International Travel insurance

Not included in the billed program cost (out of pocket expenses):

  • Round-trip airfare
  • Meals not included in the program fee
  • Personal expenses and personal travel
  • Any medical appointments needed prior to departure
  • Passport fees

Key points to note are:

  • The $50 application fee is billed to students' U-bills after submitting the online application.
  • The Course Fee, Study Abroad Fee, and CISI Insurance fee are billed to confirmed students' U-bills after Winter Registration.  
  • Non-uiowa students will pay an additional $200 in administrative fees ($600 vs. $400) 
  • All other amounts are estimated out-of-pocket expenses and will vary for each participant.

The total estimated costs (both U-bill charges and out-of-pockets expenses) for the program are available on the PDFCost Sheet. Financial Aid uses this document to determine participating students' funding awards for course.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Students are encouraged to apply for Need-based, Merit, and Global Access Ambassador scholarships awarded by Study Abroad. More information is available on the Scholarships page.

Students who receive a Federal Pell Grant are eligible to apply for the Gilman International Scholarship, an external scholarship awarded by the Department of State. Learn more here.

Financial aid received to attend the University of Iowa (scholarships, grants, and loans) may be applied toward the program cost. Students are encouraged to speak with someone in Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.

How to Apply

The application process requires:

  • A completed online application, including a statement of interest in this program
  • A short writing sample
  • A copy of your completed grades from MyUI
  • A photo of the information page of your passport
  • A $50 application fee, which will NOT be charged to your U-bill until after travel is assured

The writing sample will be used to ensure applicants will be successful on this writing-intensive program.

UI Study Abroad Application - open August 1, 2023.

Non-UI Students

  • Contact the study abroad office at your home institution and ensure you follow all of the policies and procedures required for you to participate in this program.
  • Contact UI study abroad advisor Lindsay Budde by email at to request an application for the program.
  • Complete the UI Study Abroad application. Please note that the non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged to your U-Bill as part of this online application.
  • Submit the online application before the application deadline.
  • The faculty director and your study abroad advisor will review your application materials and, if you meet the requirements for the program and space is available, you will be contacted with your acceptance status within several weeks.

Application Deadline

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Confirmation Materials

Next Steps for accepted students:


Students will receive instructions for booking flights after the Confirmation Deadline. A suggested group flight will be shared with the group and students will make their own arrangements. Those who do not have extensive travel experience are encouraged to book the suggested group flight.

Health & Safety Planning

All students preparing to study abroad should review the following:

Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

Students are also encouraged to complete the Health Preparation Guide for International Travelform with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.


To prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have questions, you can email

Program-Specific Orientation

A mandatory, in-person orientation will be facilitated by the Faculty Leader and Study Abroad Coordinator before departure and will cover content specific to your program and host country.

Ancient art
Modern art